20 May 2005

Crikey! Where did that day go?

Sunset in StirlingThe Lappivator is working, but it’s an uphill battle. Like climbing loose shale.

Had a weird problem with an hp desktop today: NumLock was all funny on the USB keyboard, and while it was plugged in the PS/2 mouse ceased working. Hmm. Scratches head, runs lsusb — gets squat. Eh?

Seems that the hp BIOS is turning the USB keyboard into a pretend PS/2 keyboard (and botching it) so Linux sees PS/2 not USB, and that either the BIOS rashly presumes that a USB keyboard present == a USB mouse present, or the PS/2 character stuffing interfered with the mouse. I tried modprobe usb-echi and everything suddenly worked right.

Not sure why Mandrake’s HardDrake didn’t auto-detect the USB interfaces, lspcidrake lists the modules reliably.

Had a few mail servers smashed flat by spam in recent days. The spammers or their zombies seem to have started batching stuff per-server so that one poor innocent machine will suddenly be facing a dozen or score kinds of messages addressed to a handful of people at once. The queue rapidly goes from quiet to hundreds of messages inbound, then back to quiet for a while (minutes or hours) as the spam and virus scanner processes struggle to deal with the big bucket of literary vomit they’ve been handed. Then repeat.

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